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Minnesota Vikings
Current season
Established 1961
Play in Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Minnesota Vikings helmet
Minnesota Vikings logo
Helmet Logo
League/conference affiliations

National Football League (1961–present)

Current uniform
NFCN-Uniform-MIN.PNG
Team colors Purple, Gold, White

              

Fight song Skol, Vikings
Mascot Viktor the Viking, Ragnar
Personnel
Owner(s) Zygi Wilf (majority)
Chairman Zygi Wilf
President Mark Wilf
General manager Rick Spielman
(Vice President of Player Personnel)
Head coach Brad Childress
Team history
  • Minnesota Vikings (1961–present)
Team nicknames
The Vikes, The Purple, Purple Pride, The Purple People Eaters, The Purple and Gold
Championships
League championships (1)
Conference championships (4)
  • NFL Western: 1969
  • NFC: 1973, 1974, 1976
Division championships (18)
  • NFL Central: 1968, 1969
  • NFC Central: 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000
  • NFC North: 2008, 2009
Playoff appearances (26)
  • NFL: 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009
Home fields

The Minnesota Vikings are a professional football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings compete in the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). Prior to divisional realignment in 2002, they had been a member of the Central Division, also known as the Black & Blue Division. The Vikings have been one of the most successful NFL franchises.[1] They currently have the fifth-highest winning percentage in the NFL. They are also one of only five NFL teams to win fifteen games during the regular season. The Vikings have won one NFL championship (pre-1970 AFL-NFL Merger), but subsequently lost 23–7 to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV. The Vikings were the first team to play in four Super Bowls, though losing them. The Vikings have won their division 18 times, third most among teams currently playing in the NFL. Counting playoff apperances only after 1970, they are tied with the second most in the league. No team has as many NFC or AFC Championship game appearances (nine) without a Super Bowl title. Only two other NFC teams (six total in the NFL) have played in more Super Bowls than the Vikings. The team currently has ten members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The team played home games at Metropolitan Stadium through the 1981 NFL season and have played their home games at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (former home of the American League baseball team Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Golden Gophers of the Big Ten) since 1982.

Contents

Franchise history

Pro football in the Minneapolis – Saint Paul area (the "Twin Cities") began with the Minneapolis Marines/Red Jackets, an NFL team that played intermittently in the 1920s–30s.[2] However, a new professional team in the area did not surface again until August 1959, when three Minneapolis businessmen Bill Boyer, H. P. Skoglund and Max Winter were awarded a franchise in the new American Football League. Five months later in January 1960, after significant pressure from the NFL, the ownership group along with Bernie Ridder forfeited its AFL membership and then was awarded the National Football League's 14th franchise with play to begin in 1961.[3] Ole Haugsrud was added to the NFL team ownership because of an agreement he had with the NFL since the 1920s when he sold his Duluth Eskimos team back to the league. The agreement allowed him 10% of any future Minnesota team. Coincidentally or not Ole Haugsrud's high school, Central High School in Superior WI teams were also called the Vikings and their school colors were purple and yellow.

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1960s

The team was officially named the Minnesota Vikings on September 27, 1960; the name is partly meant to reflect Minnesota's place as a center of Scandinavian American culture.[4]. From the start, the Vikings embraced an energetic marketing program that produced a first-year season ticket sales of nearly 26,000 and an average home attendance of 34,586, about 85 percent of the capacity of 40,800 for Metropolitan Stadium. Eventually Met Stadium capacity was increased to 47,900. The search for the first head coach had the team court then-Northwestern University head coach Ara Parseghian, who according to Minneapolis Star writer Jim Klobuchar—the Vikings' first beat reporter for that newspaper—visited team management in the Twin Cities under the condition that his visit was to be kept secret from his current employer. His cover was blown by local columnist Sid Hartman who reported the visit and forced Parseghian to issue denials. Philadelphia Eagles assistant Nick Skorich and a man with Minnesota ties who was working in the CFL, Bud Grant, were also candidates until a different Eagle, quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, was hired early in 1961. Van Brocklin had just finished his career as a player on a high note, having defeated the Green Bay Packers in the 1960 NFL championship.[4]

With the first overall selection in the 1961 NFL Draft, the Vikings selected running back Tommy Mason of Tulane. They took a young quarterback from the University of Georgia named Fran Tarkenton in the third round. Notable veterans acquired in the offseason were Norm Snead and Hugh McElhenny. The Vikings won their first regular season game, defeating the Chicago Bears 37–13 on Opening Day 1961. Tarkenton came off the bench to throw four touchdown passes and run for another to lead the upset. Reality set in as the expansion team lost its next seven games on their way to a 3–11 record.[4]

On March 7, 1967, quarterback Fran Tarkenton was traded to the New York Giants for a 1st and 2nd-round draft choice in 1967, a 1st-round choice in 1968 and a 2nd-round choice in 1969. With the picks Minnesota selected Clinton Jones and Bob Grim in 1967, Ron Yary in 1968 and Ed White in 1969.[5] Three days later on March 10, the Vikings hired new head coach Bud Grant to replace Van Brocklin, who resigned following the 1966 NFL season. Grant came to the Vikings from the Canadian Football League as head coach for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who he led to four Grey Cup Championships in 10 years.[4][5] During the late 1960s, the Vikings were building a powerful defense known as the Purple People Eaters, led by Alan Page, Carl Eller, Gary Larsen, and Jim Marshall.[6] In 1968, that stingy defense earned the Vikings their first Central Division Title and their first playoff berth.[4]

In 1969 the Vikings went 12–2, the best record in the NFL.[5] The team had 12 straight victories, the longest single-season winning streak in 35 years.[7] The Vikings defeated the Cleveland Browns, 27–7, in the last NFL Championship Game on Jan. 4, 1970, at Metropolitan Stadium. Minnesota became the first modern NFL expansion team to win an NFL Championship Game,[5] and earned a berth in Super Bowl IV. The heavily favored Vikings lost that game to the Kansas City Chiefs 23–7.[8]

1970s

The team continued to dominate in 1970 and 1971, reaching the playoffs due to the effort of a stubborn defense that gave the team the nickname "The Purple People Eaters". In 1971 the defense was impressive enough that Alan Page won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award given by the Associated Press. He was the first defensive player to win the award.

In 1972 the Vikings traded Norm Snead, Bob Grim, Vince Clements and a 1st-round draft choice in 1972 and 1973 to the New York Giants to reacquire the popular Fran Tarkenton.[5] While the acquisitions of Tarkenton and wide receiver John Gilliam improved the passing attack, the running game was inconsistent and the Vikings finished with a disappointing 7–7 record. The Vikings addressed the problem by drafting running back Chuck Foreman with their first pick in the 1973 draft. Co-owner Bill Boyer died in 1972 and was replaced on the team's board of directors by his son-in-law Jack Steele.[5]

The Vikings won their first 9 games of 1973 and finished the season with a 12–2 record.[4] The Vikings then advanced to their second Super Bowl in franchise history, Super Bowl VIII, against the Miami Dolphins at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas. However, the Dolphins prevailed, 24–7.[5]

The Vikings won the Central Division again in 1974 with a 10–4 record, which was a tie for the best record in the conference.[5] In the playoffs they built on their cold weather reputation, defeating both the St. Louis Cardinals 30–14 and the Los Angeles Rams 14–10 in frozen Metropolitan Stadium. The Vikings played in their second straight Super Bowl, Super Bowl IX (3rd overall), losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 16–6, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans on January 12, 1975.[4][5]

In 1975, the Vikings, led by Tarkenton and running back Chuck Foreman, got off to a 10–0 start and easily won another division title.[4][5] However, the Vikings lost to the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs, 17–14, on a controversial touchdown pass from the Cowboys' quarterback Roger Staubach to wide receiver Drew Pearson that became known as the Hail Mary.[9] The touchdown was controversial because many felt that Pearson pushed off on Vikings defensive back Nate Wright, which is pass interference, a violation of the rules. As the Metropolitan Stadium crowd was stunned to learn that no penalty was called, debris was thrown on the field for several minutes. One bottle (Jack Daniels) struck a game official, rendering him unconscious.

The Vikings played in Super Bowl XI, their third Super Bowl (4th overall) in 4 years, against the Oakland Raiders at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California,on January 9, 1977. The Vikings, however, couldn't break their bad luck in the Super Bowl. Minnesota lost, 32–14.[5]

In 1977, the Vikings again won the Central Division with a 9–5 record and advanced to their 4th NFC Championship Game in 5 years,[5] but were defeated by the eventual Super Bowl Champion Cowboys, 23–6, at Texas Stadium.[4]

By 1978, age was taking its toll on the Vikings, but they still made the playoffs with an 8–7–1 record. There was no more playoff magic as the Rams finally defeated the Vikings, 34–10 in Los Angeles.[4] Quarterback Fran Tarkenton retired following the season holding league passer records in attempts (6,467), completions (3,686), yards (47,003), and touchdowns (342).[10]

In December 1979, ground was broken for construction of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis.[5]

1980s

On May 15, 1981, the Vikings moved into a new facility in suburban Eden Prairie that houses the team's offices, locker room and practice fields. The complex was named "Winter Park" after Max Winter, one of the Vikings' founders, who served as the team's president from 1965 to 1987.[5] The Vikings played their final game at Metropolitan Stadium on December 20 to conclude the 1981 NFL season by losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 10–6.[4][5]

A Vikings game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome from August 1999

The Vikings played their first game at the Metrodome in a preseason matchup against the Seattle Seahawks on August 21, 1982 in a game Minnesota won, 7–3.[5] The first touchdown in the new facility was scored by Joe Senser on an 11 yard pass from Tommy Kramer.[5] The first regular-season game in the Metrodome was the 1982 opener on September 12, when the Vikings defeated Tampa Bay, 17–10. Rickey Young scored the first regular-season touchdown in the facility on a 3 yard run in the 2nd quarter.[5]

On January 27, 1984, Bud Grant retired as head coach of the Vikings. With a career regular-season record of 151–87–5 (.632) in 17 seasons with Minnesota, Grant led the franchise to 12 playoff appearances, 11 division titles, and four Super Bowls.[5] Les Steckel, who was an offensive assistant with the Vikings for 5 seasons, was then named the 3rd head coach in franchise history. Steckel, who came to the Vikings in 1979 after working as an assistant with the 49ers, was the youngest head coach in the NFL in 1984 at age 38.[5] However, the Vikings lost a franchise-worst 13 games.[4] After the season Steckel was fired, and on December 18, 1984, Bud Grant was rehired as the head coach of the Vikings.[5]

On January 6, 1986, following the 1985 season, Bud Grant re-retired as head coach of the Vikings. At the time of his retirement he was the 6th winningest coach in NFL history with 168 career wins, including playoffs. In 18 seasons, he led the Vikings to a 158–96–5 regular season record.[11] Longtime Vikings assistant coach Jerry Burns was named the 4th head coach in team history on January 7, 1986.[5] He served as the Vikings' offensive coordinator from 1968–85, when the team won 11 division titles and played in 4 Super Bowls. In his first season, the Vikings led by the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Tommy Kramer, went 9–7,[4] their first winning record in 4 years. On August 2, 1986, Fran Tarkenton was the first player who played the majority of his career with the Vikings, to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[5][10]

Following the strike-shortened 1987 season, the 8–7 Vikings—who had finished 8–4 in regular games but 0–3 using strike-replacement players—pulled two upsets in the playoffs by beating the two teams with the best regular season records. They beat the 12–3 New Orleans Saints, 44–10, at the Louisiana Superdome in the Wild Card Playoff game. The following week, in the Divisional Playoff game, they beat the 13–2 San Francisco 49ers, 36–24, at Candlestick Park. During that game Anthony Carter set the all-time record for most receiving yards in a playoff game with 227 yards. The Vikings played the Washington Redskins in the NFC Championship Game on January 17, 1988, at RFK Stadium. Trailing 17–10, the Vikings drove to the Redskins' six yard line with a little over a minute left in the game but failed to get the ball into the end zone. Darrin Nelson dropped a pass from Wade Wilson at the goal line to end the Vikings' hopes of a Super Bowl.

On October 12, 1989, the Vikings acquired Herschel Walker from Dallas. The final result of the trade gave the Vikings Walker, third-round choice Mike Jones, fifth-round choice Reggie Thornton and tenth-round choice Pat Newman in 1990 and a third-round choice in 1991 Jake Reed, while Dallas received Issiac Holt, David Howard, Darrin Nelson, Jesse Solomon, Alex Stewart, a 1st, 2nd and 6th-round choice in 1990, 1st and 2nd-round choices in 1991 and a 1st, 2nd and 3rd-round choice in 1992. Two of those selections turned into Emmitt Smith and Darren Woodson. Herschel's performance fell short of expectations in his three seasons with the Vikings, while the Cowboys rode their draft picks to three Super Bowl victories in the early to mid 1990s.

1990s

On December 3, 1991, Jerry Burns announced his retirement. In six seasons as Head Coach of the Vikings, Burns compiled a career record of 52–43 (.547). He also led Minnesota to three playoff appearances, including a division title and an NFC Championship Game. Dennis Green was later named the fifth Head Coach in team history. He came to Minnesota after turning around a struggling Stanford University football program as head coach from 1989–91. In his 10 seasons as the coach of the Vikings, Green won 4 NFC Central division titles, had 8 playoff appearances, 2 NFC Championship game appearances and an all-time record of 97–62. With over 100 wins counting playoffs.

1998

1998 was a year to remember for the franchise. With a spectacular offense led by quarterback Randall Cunningham (who replaced an injured Brad Johnson), running back Robert Smith, veteran wide receiver Cris Carter, and explosive rookie Randy Moss, the Vikings set a then-NFL record by scoring a total of 556 points, never scoring fewer than 24 in a game. The record was later broken by the 2007 New England Patriots, with 589 points. The Vikings finished the season 15–1, their only loss was to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-24 in Week 9. In the playoffs, the Vikings rolled past the Arizona Cardinals 41–21, and came into the Metrodome heavily favored for their NFC title showdown with the Atlanta Falcons, which lost only one game more than the Vikings, at 14–2. After kicker Gary Anderson, who had just completed the first perfect regular season in NFL history (not missing a single extra point or field goal attempt the entire year), missed a 38-yard attempt with less than 2 minutes remaining, the Falcons tied the game. This led to a controversial decision by head coach Dennis Green to run out the clock and let the game go onto overtime. Though the Vikings won the coin toss, Atlanta went on to win it 30–27 in overtime on Morten Andersen's 38-yard field goal. The Vikings became the first 15–1 team to fail to reach the Super Bowl. The Falcons lost Super Bowl XXXIII to John Elway and the Denver Broncos.

1999

Cunningham resumed duties again in 1999, but after a lukewarm 2–4 start, Jeff George was given the starting job. He finished the season with an 8–2 record, and led the Vikings into the postseason once again, with an overall team record of 10–6. Minnesota beat Dallas in the Wild Card game 27–10, and faced playoff newcomer Kurt Warner and the St. Louis Rams in the Divisional matchup. The game was a shootout which Minnesota led 17–14 at halftime, but the Rams outscored Minnesota 35–20 in the second half to win 49–37.[12] St. Louis would go on to win Super Bowl XXXIV.

2000s

2000

In 2000, the Vikings went 11–5. The Vikings were 11–2 after 14 weeks, but slumped briefly, losing their last three to the Rams, Packers and Colts while starting quarterback Daunte Culpepper was hampered by injury. Nonetheless, the Vikings made the playoffs for the fifth straight year. After easily beating the Saints in the Divisional game 34–16, they travelled to New York to face the Giants in the NFC Championship Game. Though they were the road team, the Vikings were actually favored to win the game (since most considered their 12–2 record with Culpepper more indicative than their 0–3 record when he was out). But the Vikings were humiliated by the Giants 41–0, the worst playoff loss in franchise history.[13] Robert Smith, who ran for a team record (and NFC best) 1521 yards that season, retired at the end of the year after only playing eight NFL seasons.[14]

2001–05

In 2001, after a disappointing 5–11 season, the Vikings bought out the contract of Dennis Green, despite his successful coaching tenure with the team. Mike Tice coached the final game of 2001, losing to the Ravens 19–3.[15] Tice was named the permanent coach after the season, but he would not lead the Vikings back to the playoffs until 2004.

During the 2003 season, the Vikings came close to getting into the playoffs. However, the Arizona Cardinals completed a game winning touchdown on 4th and 28 with 0:00 left knocking the Vikings out of the playoffs. The moment of Arizona's touchdown was actually the first moment the entire season in which the Vikings hadn't led their division. The Vikings became the second team in football history to miss the playoffs after getting off to a 6–0 start. The first team was the 1978 Washington Redskins.

In 2004, Daunte Culpepper amassed MVP-like statistics, throwing for 4,717 passing yards (leading the NFL), 39 passing touchdowns (a Viking record), and 5,123 total yards (an NFL record). In the wild card game, the Vikings defeated the rival Green Bay Packers in their first-ever playoff meeting, 31–17.[16] In doing so, the Vikings became the second team in NFL history to have a .500 record (8–8) in the regular season and win a playoff game (The St. Louis Rams did the same thing only a day earlier). In the divisional round, the Vikings were defeated by the eventual NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles.[17]

On March 2, 2005, Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss was traded to the Oakland Raiders for linebacker Napoleon Harris and the Raiders' first round draft pick. After struggling to a disappointing 2–5 start to the 2005 season, Vikings lost quarterback Daunte Culpepper to a season ending knee injury. This injury was a very significant part to this Minnesota Vikings team due to the fact they also lost Randy Moss. The dynamic duo from years earlier were now lost and a new leader would eventually emerge. The Vikings finished the 2005 season with a 9–7 record.

Head Coach Mike Tice was let go after the 2005 season and was replaced by Brad Childress. This was one of many significant front office moves made by the new ownership team, led by Zygi Wilf.

2006–present

Minnesota began the 2006 season 4–2 (Childress became the first coach in Vikings history to start 2–0 in his first year), but would finish the year at 6–10, receiving the 7th pick in the NFL Draft; with it, the Vikings selected Adrian Peterson out of the University of Oklahoma.

Peterson's first career touchdown was a 60-yard screen pass in his first career game against the Atlanta Falcons. When the Minnesota Vikings played the Chicago Bears in the first of their two games, Peterson broke the record for single game All-Purpose (rushing, receiving, kick returning) yards (361 total yards, 224 rushing). In Week 9 of the 2007 season, Peterson broke the NFL record set by Jamal Lewis in 2003 for most rushing yards in one game by rushing for 296 yards against the San Diego Chargers. Despite a strong push in the middle of the 2007 season, winning five straight games, the Vikings lost their final two games to finish the season at 8–8, missing the playoffs. In Week 13 of the 2008 season against the Bears, Gus Frerotte hooked up with Bernard Berrian for a 99-yard touchdown pass after a goalline stand by the Vikings defense. This was the longest play in Vikings history. That season, Adrian Peterson was first in the NFL with 1760 rushing yards, breaking the franchise record for most single season rush yards. The Vikings clinched the NFC North championship by defeating the New York Giants 20–19 in Week 17, when kicker Ryan Longwell made the game-winning field goal.

On January 4, 2009, the NFC North champion Vikings hosted the Philadelphia Eagles for the Wild Card round, their first home playoff game in eight years. The Vikings held the Eagles 14–16 at halftime, but the Eagles, coming off of a 44–6 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, defeated the Vikings, 26–14. The Eagles would go on to defeat the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants in the Divisional round, only to lose to the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game.

Since 2006, the Vikings are particularly known for their strong defense against the run (#1 in the NFL in 2006, 2007, and 2008; they are the first NFL team to accomplish this since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970), anchored by the "Williams Wall" consisting of defensive tackle Kevin Williams and nose tackle Pat Williams (no relation).[18] With the addition of sack-leader Jared Allen in 2008 the dominant front four began being called by several nicknames, including "Thunder and Plunder" and "Shock and AWWE" (an acronym of their surname initials).

"The Brett Favre Era"

On August 18, 2009, after months of speculation and negotiations, twice-retired veteran quarterback Brett Favre, who until 2007 played 16 years for division arch rival Green Bay Packers, signed a two-year, $25 million deal with the Vikings, starting what many Vikings fans refer to as the "The Brett Favre Era". Favre is universally acknowledged to be a future Hall of Fame player, holding many NFL career passing records. Coincidentally, in 2007, he broke the record for career touchdown passes (previously held by Dan Marino with 420) in the Metrodome while playing for the Packers.

On October 5, 2009, the Vikings hosted the Green Bay Packers as Favre played his former team for the first time. With a 30–23 victory on Monday Night Football, the Vikings moved to a 4–0 record. Favre became the only player in NFL history to defeat all 32 current teams as a starter. The Atlanta Falcons had defeated the Packers in a 1991 game which Favre did not participate. Over 21.8 million viewers tuned in to watch the game, beating the previous record for a cable television program set by a game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys in 2008 (18.6 million viewers).

The Vikings beat the N.Y. Giants, 44-7, in Week 17 to help the Vikings clinch the 2nd seed in the conference and a 1st round-bye with an Eagles loss later that same day. The Vikings played the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round on January 17, 2010, and won the game by a score of 34-3, advancing the Vikings to the NFC Championship game, the ninth in franchise history and first since 2001. Minnesota would travel to New Orleans the following week to face the top-seeded Saints in the first conference championship game held at the Superdome. Despite out-gaining the Saints on offense by nearly a twofold margin, the Vikings were severely hindered by five turnovers, including a Favre interception in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter (in Saints territory). They were ousted in overtime, 31-28, on a 40-yard field goal after losing the coin toss.

Ownership

The team is currently owned by Zygi Wilf, Mark Wilf, Jeffrey Wilf, Leonard Wilf, David Mandelbaum, Alan Landis and Reggie Fowler. The Vikings have been conducting summer training camp at Minnesota State University, Mankato since 1966. From 1961–65 they held camp at Bemidji State University.

Season-by-season records

Logo and uniforms

Minnesota Vikings uniform combination
Minnesota Vikings uniform: 1996–2005
Vikings helmet (1961–2005)
Vikings helmet (2006–present)

From the team's debut in 1961 to 1995, the Vikings' logos and uniforms essentially remained the same. One of the team's two primary logos consists of a profile of a blond norseman, while the other consists of a white Viking horn.

The team's helmet is purple with a Viking horn logo on each side. Each horn is outlined in gold. The horn logo was slightly revised in 2006. The original uniform design consisted of white pants, gold trim, and either purple or white jerseys. From 1961 to 1964, the Vikings wore purple pants with their white jerseys (The Vikings, with their new uniform, still wear, on occasion, purple pants with yellow and white trim). In a design that was unique among American football teams, the white jerseys had a completely different stripe pattern, which was over the shoulders, than the purple ones, which was around the sleeve cuff. These unique shoulder stripes on the white jerseys did not appear until 1969, the year they went to their first Super Bowl. There have also been minor changes to the uniform design throughout the years, such as changing the color of the facemask from gray to white (1980), and then to purple (1985); and adding the Norseman logo to the sleeves (1996). The Vikings wore black shoes until Les Steckel became the coach in 1984. In 2006 team returned to black shoes for first time since the 1983 season.

During the 1964 season, the Vikings along with several other NFL teams wore their white jerseys for home games to allow their fans to see what the other teams primary jerseys looked like. The Lions played at Metropolitan Stadium on October 11. The Lions only brought their white jerseys. The Vikings had also brought their white jerseys to the stadium. The team practiced at Midway Stadium in St. Paul and that is where they stored their equipment. Both teams started the game in their white jerseys. By the second quarter the Vikings had been able to get their purple jerseys to Met Stadium. The team changed jerseys on the sidelines and finished the game in purple jerseys and purple pants. It wasn't until 43 years later, on December 17, 2007 (a Monday Night Football game versus the Chicago Bears) that the Vikings again donned all purple jerseys and pants.

From 1969 through 1973, the Vikings had an alternate purple jersey without stripes for warm-weather games.

The team's uniforms were redesigned in 2006, the first significant change in the franchise's 46-year history. Although the team colors remained the same, trim lines were added to the outside shoulders and sleeves, and the sides of the jerseys and pants. In addition the horn on the helmet was slightly more defined. Included in the new design are both white and purple pants.[19] However, the Vikings have not worn the purple pants since the aforementioned 2007 home game vs. Chicago.

The team wore black armbands for the last four games in 1978 in memory of Jack "Jocko" Nelson, an assistant coach who died during the season. In 1985 the team wore a 25 years patch on their jerseys. In 1989, they wore a "40 for 60" patch honoring the 1969 NFL championship team. They wore a 35 years patch in 1995, 40 years in 2000 and 45 years in 2005. They also wore patches in 1999 for assistant coach Chip Myers who died in the offseason and in 2001 for Korey Stringer. The Vikings like the other teams wore NFL 50 and 75 year patches in 1969 and 1994.

Mascots

Current mascots

The current team mascot is Ragnar (played by Joseph Juranitch). Ragnar has been working for the Vikings since 1994 and claims to be the most widely-recognized mascot in the world.[citation needed] Juranitch admits to being somewhat of an eccentric—he holds the current world record for fastest time shaving a beard with an axe.[citation needed] Ragnar drives onto the field at the beginning of the game dressed in Viking garb, on a motorcycle, while a cheerleader used to ride a snowmobile.

After several failed attempts at developing an official team-owned mascot, the Vikings finally introduced Viktor E. Viking during the 2007 Vikings' season.[20] Team officials had long indicated that they were after a mascot concept that would primarily appeal to the team's younger fan base.[21] Viktor the Viking, a muscle-bound, blonde-haired and mustachioed character wears a Vikings' #1 jersey and an oversized Vikings' helmet with protruding horns and a small yellow nose guard.

Historic mascots

During the 1970s and 1980s, Hub Meeds dressed as a Viking and served as the team mascot. It is said that Hub showed up for the very first regular season game against Chicago. He had no ticket but was dressed as a Viking and convinced someone to let him onto the sideline.[citation needed] This began a multi-decade part time job.

Another mascot associated with the Vikings was "Vikadontis Rex", a purple foam dinosaur.[citation needed] Vikadontis was the official mascot of the Minnesota Vikings Children's Fund and took part in the 1995 Celebrity Mascot Olympics. Vikadontis was retired starting with the 2000 season.

Traditions

Fight song

Skol, Vikings is the fight song of the Minnesota Vikings. It was introduced around the time the team was founded in 1961 and is always played whenever the team scores as well as half time and the end of regulation.

Rivals

Helga hats

Viking fans are known to dress up in "Helga hats", or purple hats with white horns and blonde braids, mimicking the helmets popularly believed to have been worn by Viking warriors. The original Helga Hats are still hand assembled in the Twin Cities area; however, some vendors have imported other versions from overseas in recent years.

Vikings horn

During home games at the Metrodome, the Vikings Gjallarhorn is loudly played and sounds often after the team has made a big play, gets a first down, or scores a touchdown. In addition, a flash cannon fires upon Vikings touchdowns.

Players

Current roster

Minnesota Vikings roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists
  • Currently vacant


Restricted FAs


Rookies in italics
Roster updated March 13, 2010
Depth ChartTransactions

57 Active, 0 Inactive, 6 FAs

More rosters

Pro Football Hall of Famers

Minnesota Vikings Hall of Famers[22]
No. Player Position(s) Seasons as a Viking Year Inducted
1 Warren Moon QB 1994–1996 2006
3 Jan Stenerud K 1984–1985 1991
10 Fran Tarkenton QB 1961–1966, 1972–1978 1986
22 Paul Krause S 1968–1979 1998
39 Hugh McElhenny RB 1961–1962 1970
44 Dave Casper TE 1983 2002
58 Jim Langer Center|C 1980–1981 1987
64 Randall McDaniel G 1988–1999 2009
65 Gary Zimmerman* OT 1986–1992 2008
73 Ron Yary OT 1968–1981 2001
81 Carl Eller DE 1964–1978 2004
88 Alan Page DT 1967–1978 1988
93 John Randle DT 1990–2000 2010
Jim Finks General Manager 1964–1973 1995
Bud Grant Head Coach 1967–1983, 1985 1994

italics = played a portion of career with the Vikings and enshrined representing another team ,* = played more than half of his career with the Vikings, but opted to be enshrined as a Denver Bronco

Retired numbers

Minnesota Vikings Retired Numbers[4]
No. Player
10 Fran Tarkenton
53 Mick Tingelhoff
70 Jim Marshall
77 Korey Stringer
80 Cris Carter
88 Alan Page

Ring of Honor

Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor[23]
No. Player Position(s) Seasons as a Viking Date Inducted
10 Fran Tarkenton QB 1961–1966, 1972–1978 September 9, 1998
22 Paul Krause S 1968–1979 November 15, 1998
30 Bill Brown RB 1962–1974 September 26, 2004
44 Chuck Foreman RB 1973–1979 September 30, 2007
53 Mick Tingelhoff C 1962–1978 November 25, 2001
55 Scott Studwell LB 1977–1990 November 29, 2009
64 Randall McDaniel G 1988–1999 December 17, 2006
70 Jim Marshall DE 1961–1979 November 28, 1999
73 Ron Yary OT 1968–1981 September 9, 2001
77 Korey Stringer OT 1995–2000 November 19, 2001
80 Cris Carter WR 1990–2001 September 14, 2003
81 Carl Eller DE 1964–1978 November 10, 2002
88 Alan Page DT 1967–1978 September 20, 1998
93 John Randle DT 1990–2000 November 30, 2008
Jerry Burns Head Coach 1986–1991 November 6, 2005
Jim Finks General Manager 1964–1973 October 18, 1998
Bud Grant Head Coach 1967–1983, 1985 November 8, 1998
Fred Zamberletti Medical Adviser 1961–present December 20, 1998

40th Anniversary Team

Coaches

Head coaches

Name Years Won Lost Ties Winning % Post Season
Norm Van Brocklin 1961–1966 29 51 4 .363
Bud Grant 1967–1983 151 87 5 .634 1968–71, 1973–78, 1980, 1982
Les Steckel 1984 3 13 0 .188
Bud Grant 1985 7 9 0 .438
Jerry Burns 1986–1991 52 43 0 .547 1987–89
Dennis Green 1992–2001 97 62 0 .610 1992–94, 1996–2000
Mike Tice 2001–2005 32 33 0 .492 2004
Brad Childress 2006–present 36 28 0 .563 2008, 2009
Total 1961–present 407 326 9 .555 26

Current staff

Minnesota Vikings staff
Front Office
  • Owner/Chairman – Zygi Wilf
  • Owner/President – Mark Wilf
  • Owner/Vice Chairman – Leonard Wilf
  • Vice President of Football Operations – Rob Brzezinski
  • Vice President of Player Personnel – Rick Spielman
  • Director of Football Administration – Dave Blando
  • Director of Player Personnel – George Paton
  • Director of College Scouting – Scott Studwell
  • Assistant Director of College Scouting – Jamaal Stephenson

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator – Darrell Bevell
  • Quarterbacks – Kevin Rogers
  • Running Backs – Eric Bieniemy
  • Wide Receivers – George Stewart
  • Tight Ends – Jimmie Johnson
  • Offensive Line – Pat Morris
  • Assistant Offensive Line – Jim Hueber
  • Offensive Quality Control/Running Backs – Ryan Ficken
  • Offensive Quality Control – Kevin Stefanski
 

Defensive Coaches

  • Defensive Line – Karl Dunbar
  • Linebackers – Fred Pagac
  • Defensive Backs – Joe Woods
  • Assistant Defensive Backs – Matt Sheldon
  • Defensive Assistant/Defensive Line – Diron Reynolds
  • Defensive Quality Control/Linebackers – Jeff Imamura

Special Teams Coaches

  • Special Teams Coordinator – Brian Murphy
  • Assistant Special Teams – Chris White
  • Special Teams Assistant/Player Development – Jason Glenn

Strength and Conditioning

  • Head Strength and Conditioning – Tom Kanavy
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Juney Barnett
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Martin Streight

Coaching Assistants

  • Ryan Silverfield (Offensive/Defensive Assistant)


Coaching Staff
Management
More NFL staffs

Radio and television

The Vikings' flagship radio station is KFAN-AM (1130). The games are also heard on the "KFAN Radio Network" in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota, as well as many other outlets. Paul Allen has been the play-by-play announcer since the 2002 NFL season and Pete Bercich is the analyst, who began his first season in 2007.

Telecasts of preseason games not shown on national networks are aired on KSTP-TV (Channel 5) in the Twin Cities with Ari Wolfe doing play-by-play.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Pro Football Reference Archive Team Listings - ordered by winning percentage
  2. ^ Quirk, Jim (1998). "THE MINNEAPOLIS MARINES: MINNESOTA'S FORGOTTEN NFL TEAM". Professional Football Researchers Association. http://www.footballresearch.com/articles/frpage.cfm?topic=marines. Retrieved April 24, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Minnesota Vikings". Pro Football Hall of Fame. http://www.profootballhof.com/history/team.jsp?franchise_id=18. Retrieved April 24, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Minnesota Vikings". Sports E-Cyclopedia. http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/nfl/minnesota/Vikings.html. Retrieved April 24, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "History: Team Timeline". Viking Update. July 19, 2002. http://Vikings.scout.com/2/11585.html. Retrieved April 24, 2007. 
  6. ^ "The Purple People Eaters". Viking Update. July 19, 2001. http://Vikings.scout.com/2/11604.html. Retrieved April 24, 2007. 
  7. ^ Super Bowl IV. (2003). Super Bowl I-X Collector's Set. [DVD]. NFL Productions, LLC. 
  8. ^ "All-Time Super Bowl Odds". The Sports Network. http://www.sportsnetwork.com/default.asp?c=sportsnetwork&page=nfl/superbowl/2005/superbowl-alltime-odds.htm. Retrieved April 25, 2007. 
  9. ^ "The Famous Hail Mary Pass". Viking Update. July 20, 2001. http://Vikings.scout.com/2/11650.html. Retrieved April 25, 2007. 
  10. ^ a b "FRAN TARKENTON". Pro Football Hall of Fame. http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.jsp?player_id=209. Retrieved April 29, 2007. 
  11. ^ "BUD GRANT". Pro Football Hall of Fame. http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.jsp?player_id=79. Retrieved April 30, 2007. 
  12. ^ "NFL Scoreboard: Recap: St. Louis 49, Minnesota 37". CNN Sports Illustrated. January 16, 2000. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/recaps/2000/01/16/rams_Vikings/. Retrieved May 4, 2007. 
  13. ^ 2000 Minnesota Vikings Statistics & Players - Pro-Football-Reference.com
  14. ^ ESPN.com - NFL - Vikings' Smith surprises with retirement
  15. ^ ESPN.com - Green, Vikings agree to buyout
  16. ^ 2004 Minnesota Vikings Statistics & Players - Pro-Football-Reference.com
  17. ^ ESPN - Eagles outplay self-destructing Vikings - NFL Football Recap
  18. ^ Pompei, Dan (November 26, 2008). "Williams duo middlemen in Vikings’ defense". Chicago Tribune. http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2008/nov/26/sports/chi-26-pompei-nflnov26. 
  19. ^ http://www.Vikings.com/news_detail_objectname_NewJerseyLaunch42706.html
  20. ^ Vikings : Viktor
  21. ^ OP firm develops NFL's Vikings mascot - Kansas City Business Journal:
  22. ^ http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/teams.jsp
  23. ^ Vikings : Ring Of Honor

External links


Simple English

Minnesota Vikings
Established 1961
Play in Minneapolis, Minnesota
League/Conference affiliations

National Football League (1961–present)

  • Western Conference (1961-1969)
    • Central Division (1967-1969)
  • National Football Conference (1970-present)
    • NFC Central (1970-2001)
    • NFC North (2002-present)
Team Details
Team colors Purple, Gold, White
Fight song Skol, Vikings
Mascot Viktor the Viking, Ragnar
Personnel
Owner Zygi Wilf
General Manager Rick Spielman
Head Coach Leslie Frazier
Team history
  • Minnesota Vikings (1961–present)

Team Nicknames
The Vikes, The Purple, The Purple People Eaters
Championships
League Championships (1)
  • NFL Championships (1)
    1969
Conference Championships (4)
  • NFL Western: 1969
  • NFC: 1973, 1974, 1976
Division Championships (16)
  • NFL Central: 1968, 1969
  • NFC Central: 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000
Home fields
  • Metropolitan Stadium (1961-1981)
  • Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (1982-present)

The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings play in the National Football Conference of the National Football League (NFL). They have been part of the North Division. The Vikings have won their division 16 times, which is the third most among teams that are playing in the NFL now.

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